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Democratic National Convention

Series/Special. (2012) The 2012 Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. (CC) (Stereo)

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04:00:00

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Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 52, Us 44, Afghanistan 38, Joe Biden 28, Charlotte 22, Romney 21, United States 18, Barack Obama 17, Russia 14, Bill Clinton 11, Biden 10, John Kerry 9, Obama 9, Chris Matthews 8, Iraq 8, Mitt Romney 7, New York 6, Washington 5, U.s. 5, Msnbc 5,
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  MSNBC    Democratic National Convention    Series/Special.  (2012) The 2012 Democratic  
   National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 6, 2012
    10:00 - 2:00am PDT  

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[ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ this vintage joe biden. the vice president's departing from his script at times, getting emotional at the end, talking in personal terms of the president who he called him by his first name. joined by his wife on stage. chris matthews, what's your reaction to this speech? >> i think joe biden was joe biden tonight. the guy you get to like. he's the brother who sings at the wedding. the guy in the family who always goes a bit over the top, but the
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love is manifest. i think his loyalty to the president couldn't have been more on display tonight. i think he gave barack obama who can be a cool customer a much more human face tonight. i think that's always what joe biden has brought to this partnership. sfl. >> chris, what is important about the vice president using the president's first name, how he sees him daily. all that personal stuff about how close they are just as friends, as men. what's important about that? >> well, it's -- it's not exactly a bromance, but you know, the modern vice presidency is two doors away from the presidency. it used to be the vice president was somebody who had an office up in the senate as presiding officer. in fact in lincoln's day, went back to maine after he was elected. now the vice president is a junior partner. joe biden actually works right around the corner from the oval office. and every time you're in to see
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him -- i haven't been in that often, he'll say i got to go in and see him. him is the president of the united states. he's very much a junior partner. that is the new vice presidency. and that's what's really changed. it began under mondale and was that way to our country -- well, it wasn't so useful under cheney but i think now the vice president is a junior partner. he's explained to barack obama. looking up to him as a smarter guy, perhaps a tougher guy. but certainly with great loyalty. >> ed shultz, we're leading up to the president's speech. what are your impressions there? >> he was trying really hard tonight. he was trying to get as emotionally connected to the audience as he possibly could. it wasn't his smoothest performance, but it was effective. you could tell the crowd was involved. they know this man. they know what he's about. he's a genuine guy. high on sincerity, believable.
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i thought it was good testimony to the president. >> chris? >> i don't think we've seen that pitch of the president so far. the idea that it's about his judgment and what's in his gut and this kind of undescribable part of his being that can make the right call. the case has been made for the president doesn't usually rest on that fundamental core character vision of him. it was a different kind of -- >> trust me, i've seen him up close. >> very -- but obama did that as a testimonial. but it was about him being a decider. >> you also have the sense -- i've had it since the moment vice president was announced as the vice presidential pick. he's excited to be the vice president. there are people who are looking forward to it. you have this sense that that aspect of loyalty in s in part -- he's excited to be part of the historic moment. he believes he has a voice in it and he believes this president
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is someone who shares his sort of inherent world view of who the american people are. >> he had rough patch patches, but you saw all the great traits when he's going to be in vfw halls, be in pennsylvania, be in ohio. tried really hard. gave testimony. but there's only one speech that counts tonight. that's the next one. >> i want to bring reverend al sharpton in on this. you're in charlotte there in front of an enthusiastic crowd out there. what were you looking for from joe biden? what do you think he added if anything tonight? >> well, i think -- you know, i've dealt with the president and vice president since they've been in before. i think the real thing that joe biden brings aside from all this being said about his appeal to the lunch bucket kind of
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democrat is here's a guy that ran against barack obama in the democratic primaries. they both came to my convention. i remember when they were opponents. he is now a guy who's not just his vice president, they really are partners. they make decisions together. the hard stuff they do together. if you go to the white house with something serious, the president has him there. so for him to get what he called the inside view of what happens in the white house when they were dealing with bin laden, when they were dealing with other things. he's not just talking there. this is something that actually happened. they have that kind of relationship. and i think it was heart felt. i think americans felt tonight, they got to peek in the door of the oval office from someone who on the other side -- michelle obama knows him as a man, this man the vice president knows him as a president like nobody else knows him. and i think he communicated that tonight.
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>> i think that -- i totally agree with you. i think that bridges to something that ed said which is important which is nobody needs joe biden to be introduced to them. joe biden has a familiarity as a politician who first ran for president what 1987? >> yeah. >> it was in the 80s. he's been around for a long time. he is a familiar figure. but i actually think part of this reassurance was at the best and one of his ad-libs. that didn't always work. that's when he had a lot of trouble stumbling over his words in some case. he did ad-lib at one point and said folks, i've watched him. he never waivers. he asks the same thing over and over again. how will this work for working families. and said that's what's inside this man. that is what makes this man tick. he's saying trust me, you trust me. i'm joe biden. you know who i am. and you trust my judgment.
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and i'm telling you this guy is the real deal. to hear that -- you hear stuff about the middle class and policy. but to hear him talk that way about the president is applying the full joe biden to the question of whether there are still people who are uncomfortable with the coolness of barack obama. >> this is the great irony and paradox of barack obama that he is the ratio of minutes he's lived to words written about those minutes as vast as any figure in american history. there's his own biography, the 800 page biography that came out about him that was part one. there's so much written about him yet this idea that people say there's something fundamentally unknowable about his core or remote. i think there's a whole lot of ways that's layered on. >> i think the sense of the veil. like somehow this president is behind a veil. >> right now we're going to start the video. they're going to start the video in charlotte introducing the president. immediately after this video the president will give his speech
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accepting the nomination of the democratic party for president of the united states. ♪ >> we've been through a lot together. but we've known tough times before. >> what carries us through? and helps us endure? what are the qualities so essential to us and the leaders who've occupied this office?
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>> he did some things knowing that they wouldn't be popular in the short run that would lay the foundation for recovery. no other country in the world would give up the capacity to manufacture cars if it had to. so he did what the government's supposed to do in a case like that. >> do not rescue the automobile industry. i mean, it was overwhelming look at the polling number. >> a country in the midst of a financial crisis that no one really, you know, knew the depths of the challenges that were coming. i think he had a sense. >> my grandparents came out of the depression. they knew what it was like for people not to have work. we all understand work as something more than just a paycheck. what gives you dignity. it gives you a sense of purpose. >> he said you guys got to work together and come up and everybody's got to have some skin in the game here. you've got to have a give up. you've got to modernize the
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automobile industry. >> everybody said it's not going to work. guess what? >> 80,000 more people working in the car business than we did before the restructuring was passed. >> they're middle class jobs. people can raise a family on a decent wage. >> we've gone from an economy that was shedding jobs to one that's consistently creating jobs at all sectors. every night he's up until 1:00, 2:00 in the morning with his big stack of briefing books. and he reads the letters he gets from people all over america. they are as he put it, some of the most informative pieces of material that he gets that keeps him grounded. and anyone who has kids know that the truth is no matter what you do, your kids still think that they are the most important people in the room. so we sit around the dinner table, and he's the last person to be asked oh yeah how was your day, dad? really, he's an afterthought.
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>> he never starts a conversation by saying what's the best political decision here? what will help us the most? never. >> so he wasn't going to back out just because it got hard. just because it didn't poll well. that's just never been who he is, and it's certainly not how he will ever govern this country. >> when my mom got cancer, she wasn't a wealthy woman. and it drained all her resources. >> watching your mother die of something that could have been prevented, that's a tough thing to deal with. >> the reason he pushed ahead knowing that there could be horrible political consequences for him just as there were for me is health care costs had gone up three times of inflation. this is a huge issue. we spend 17.5% of our income on
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health care. >> anybody who gets medical care, hundreds of thousands of dollars. you imagine working class mom opening up that kind of bill. you know? with somebody sending that to her with a straight face. that understanding of that kind of reality for millions of americans drove him to make sure that this legislation got passed. it takes a conscious effort to stay connected with what's going on in people's lives. >> this was a matter of principle for him. he ran on it. he said he was going to do it. and he did it. >> you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. he had to decide. that's one thing george bush said that was right. the president is the decider in chief.
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>> we were only about 50% sure that bin laden was in that compound. but i had 100% confidence in our navy s.e.a.l.s. >> i sat in that room with him when we were getting feeds on what was going on at the time. he sat there resolute, concer d concerned. just watching. got him. confirm it. just boom, boom, boom. then came and explained to everybody the next day what happened. this is a guy who as i said has a backbone like a ramrod. >> good evening. tonight i can report to the american people and to the wo d world -- >> he took the harder and the more honorable path. and the one that produced in my opinion the best result.
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when i saw what had happened, i thought to myself, i hope that's the call i would have made. it was just the right thing to do. >> we have a long way to go. but with every new beginning, every homecoming, every step forward, we remember who we are. >> what's really allowing this economy to heal and get us moving again is the resilience and the strength and the character of the american people. they don't quit. they don't give up. partly because of family, partly because of a sense of community. patriotism and pride in this country. they keep going.
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>> that's the incredible gift that the american people keep giving back to me in this job. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you so much. tonight i am so thrilled and so honored and so proud to introduce the love of my life, the father of our two girls, and the president of the united states of america barack obama. ♪
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>> thank you. thank you.
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thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much.thank you. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. michelle, i love you so much. a few nights ago everybody was reminded just what a lucky man i am.
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malia and sasha, we are so proud of you. and, yes, you do have to go to school in the morning. and joe biden, thank you for being the very best vice president i could have ever hoped for and being a strong and loyal friend. madam chairwoman, delegates, i accept your nomination for president of the united states.
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>> now, the first time i addressed this convention in 2004, i was a younger man. a senate candidate from illinois who spoke about hope. not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty. hope in the face of uncertainty. that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward even when the odds are great. even when the road is long. eight years later that hope has been tested. by the cost of war, by one of
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the worst economic crises in history, and political gridlock which leaves us to wonder whether it's even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. i know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes. trivial things become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i. but when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, big decisions will be made in
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washington on jobs, the economy, taxes, and deficits, energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come. and on every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties, it will be a choice between two different paths for america. a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in patton's army. the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone. they knew they were part of something larger.
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a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression. the nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the best products and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor. my grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their own home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of america's story. the promise that hard work will pay off. that responsibility will be rewarded. that everyone gets a fair shot. and everyone does their fair share. and everyone plays by the same rules from main street to wall street to washington, d.c. and i ran for president because i saw that basic bargain slipping away.
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i began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill. at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. by 2008 we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising, the paychecks that didn't. folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition. put gas in the car or food on the table. and when the house of cards collapsed in the great recession, millions of innocent americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. a tragedy from which we're still fighting to recover. now, our friends down in tampa at the republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan.
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and that's because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. have a surplus, try a tax cut. deficit too high? try another. feel a cold coming on? take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. now, i've cut taxes for those who need it. middle class families, small businesses. but i don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit. i don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the
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economy or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of china. after all we've been through, i don't believe that rolling back regulations on wall street will help the small business woman expand or the laid off construction worker keep his home. we have been there. we've tried that. and we're not going back. we are moving forward, america. >> now, i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy. i never have. you didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.
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that will require common effort, shared responsibility. and the kind of bold persistent experimentation that frank b lin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. and by the way, those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from washington. but know this, america, our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. and i'm asking you to choose that future. i'm asking you to rally. around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years. and that is why i'm running for
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a second term as president of the united states. >> we can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. after a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we're getting back to basics. we are making things again. i've met workers in detroit and toledo who feared they'd never build another american car. and today they can't build them fast enough because we reinvested a dying auto industry that's back on top of the world.
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i've worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to america not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products. because we work harder and smarter than anyone else. i've signed trade agreements that are helping sell our goods to millions of new customers. goods that are stamped with three proud words made in america. >> and after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. and now you have a choice. we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can reward
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businesses that create new jobs and train new workers here in the united states of america. we can help big factories and small businesses double their exports. and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. you can make that happen. you can choose that future. you can choose the past where we control more of our own energy. after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. we have doubled our use of renewable energy. and thousands of americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long lasting batteries. in the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels
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a day. more than any administration in recent history. and today the united states of america is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. so now you have a choice. between a strategy that reverses this progress or one that builds on it. we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years and we'll open more. unlike my opponent, i will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. we're offering a better path. we're offering a better path, a
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future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal. where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks. where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy. where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that's right beneath our feet. if you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. and yes my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet because climate change is not a hoax. more droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. they're a threat to our children's future and in this election, you can do something about it.
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>> you can choose a future where more americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete. no matter how old they are or how much money they have. education was the gateway to opportunity for me. it was the gateway for michelle. it was the gateway for most of us. and now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle class life. for the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call for raising their standards for teaching and learning. some of the worst schools in the country have made gains in math and reading. millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders. and now you have a choice. we can gut education or we can
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decide that in the united states of america no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money. no company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn't find any with the right skills here at home. that's not our future. that is not our future. a government has a role in this. but teachers must inspire. principals must lead. parents must instill a thirst for learning. and students, you got to do the work. and together i promise you we can outeducate, and outcompete any nation on earth. so help me -- help me recruit
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100,000 math and science teachers within ten years and improve early childhood education. help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. we can meet that goal together. you can choose that future for america. >> that's our future. you know, in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have.
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we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014 our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the path to defeat, and osama bin laden is dead. >> tonight we pay tribute to the americans who still serve in harm's way. we are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. we will never forget you. and so long as i'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has
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ever known. when you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you've served us, because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads or the care that they need when they come home. around the world we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. we've reasserted our power across the pacific and stood up to china on behalf of our workers. from burma to libya to south sudan, we have advanced the rights of all human beings. man and woman, christians and muslims and jews. but for all the progress that we've made, challenges remain. terrorist plots must be
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disrupted. europe's crisis must be contained. our commitment to israel's security must not waiver. and neither must our pursuit of peace. the iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. the historic change sweeping across the arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or hate of extremists but the hope and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights we celebrate here today. so now we have a choice. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blusering and blundering the cost of america so dearly. after all you don't call russia
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our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia. unless you're still stuck in a cold war mind war. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent -- my opponent said that it was tragic to end the war in iraq. and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. well, i have, and i will. and while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our joint chiefs don't even want, i will use the money we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work. rebuilding roads and bridges and
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schools and runways because after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation building right here at home. you can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion. and last summer i worked with republicans in congress to cut a billion dollars in spending because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it. so it's leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the american people. i want to reform the tax codes
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so that simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay income taxes. the same rate we had when bill clinton was president and when we created 23 million new jobs. the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot. now, i'm still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. no party has a monopoly on wisdom. no democracy works without compromise. i want to get this done, and we can get it done. but when governor romney and his friends in congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, what'd bill clinton call it? you do the arithmetic. you do the math.
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i refuse to go along with that. and as long as i'm president, i never will. i refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut. i refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of head start programs to eliminate health insurance for millions of americans who are poor and elderly or disabled also those with the most can pay less. i'm not going along with that. and i will never -- i will never turn medicare into a voucher. no american should ever have to
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spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. they should retire with the care and dignity that they have earned. yes, we will reform and strengthen medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of health care. not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. and we will keep the promise of social security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to wall street. this is the choice we now face. this is what the election comes down to. over and over we've been told by our opponents is that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way. since government can't do everything, it should do almost nothing.
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if you can't afford health insurance, hope that you don't get sick. if a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that's the price of progress. if you can't afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent's advice and borrow money from your parents. you know what? that's not who we are. that's not what this country's about. as americans we believe we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. rights that no man or government can take away. we insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. we're not entitled to success. we have to earn it. we honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk takers, the
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entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system. the greatest system of growth of prosperity the world has known. but we also believe in something called citizenship. citizenship. a word at the very heart of our founding. a word at the very essence of our democracy. the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another. and future generations. we believe that when a ceo pays his auto workers enough to buy the cars they build, the whole company does better. we believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can't afford, that family's protected but so is the value of other people's homes. and so's the entire economy.
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we believe the little girl who's offered and escaped from poverty by a great teacher could become the next steve jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the united states and it is in our power to give her that chance. we know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. we don't want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don't want bailouts for banks that break the rules. we don't think the government can solve all of our problems. but we don't think the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or
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unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles. because -- because, america, we understand that this democracy is ours. we, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights. that our destinys are bound together. that a freedom which asks only what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense.
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as citizens we understand that america's not about what can be done for us. it's about what can be done by us. together. through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. that's what we believe. so, you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens, you were the change. you're the reason there's a little girl with a heart disorder in phoenix who'll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can't limit her coverage. you did that.
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you're the reason a young man in colorado who never thought he'd be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. you made that possible. you're the reason a young immigrant who grew up mere and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home. why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they love. like family members have been able to say to those who served us so bravely. welcome home. you did that. you did that. you did that. if you turn away now, if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we
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fought for isn't possible, well, change will not happen. if you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void. lobbyists, special interests. the people with the $10 million checks trying to buy this election and make it harder for you to vote. washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. only you can make sure that doesn't happen. only you have the power to move us forward. you know, i recognize that times
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have changed since i first spoke to this convention. times have changed and so have i. i'm no longer just a candidate. i'm the president. >> and that -- and that -- and that means i know what it means to send young americans into battle. for i've held in my arms mothers and fathers of those who didn't return. a i've shared the pains of family who lost their homes and pain of people who lost their jobs. if the critics are right i've
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made my decisions based on polls, then i must not be very good at reading. and while i'm very proud of what we've achieved together, i'm far more mindful of my own failings. knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. but as i stand here tonight, i have never been more hopeful about america. not because i think i have all the answers. not because i'm naive about the magnitude of our challenges. i'm hopeful because of you. the young woman i met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family in a homeless shelter,
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she gives me hope. the auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed but kept coming to work every day and bought flags for his whole town. and one of the cars he built to surprise his wife. he gives me hope. the family business in minnesota that didn't lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit. even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants. even when it meant the owner gave up some perks and some pay. because they understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers who had helped build that business. they give me hope.
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i think about the young sailor i met at walter reed hospital still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. six months ago we would watch him walk into a white house dinner honoring those who served in iraq. tall and 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform with a big grin on his face, sturdy on his new leg. and i remember how a few months after that i would watch him on a bicycle racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day. inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled. he gives me hope. he gives me hope. i don't know what party these men and women belong to.
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i don't know if they'll vote for me. but i know that their spirit defines us. they remind me in the words of scripture that ours is a future filled with hope. and if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. if you reject the notion that this nation's promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. if you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. if you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape, that new energy can power our future, that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers, if you believe in a country where everyone gets a
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fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. america, i never said this journey would be easy. and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder. but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. we don't turn back. we leave no one behind. we pull each other up. we draw strength from our victories and we learn from our mistakes. but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing the providence is with us and we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth. thank you. god bless you.
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and god bless these united states. ♪
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♪ >> this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. president barack obama accepting the nomination for the second time of the democratic party's nomination for president of the united states in a for lack of a better term, a big, big speech. eyes on the horizon speech. a speech harnessing his power of oratory to not just policy and a bit about his opponent but to a statement of citizenship, to a very literal and literary digression about humility, lacing of humility throughout the speech talking about hard times. and from this president something we are not used to hearing, an overt request for a
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vote. chris matthews in charlotte. >> well, i think tonight he did it again. didn't he? but more than that, the profound thing he accomplished tonight was to turn the whole table on those who thought that the incumbency would be a problem and the challenger would have it easy. the most powerful statement he made tonight is i am the president. i am the president. and you're not. and i've had to do the tough things of leading this country and you haven't. and you don't have a clue about foreign policy. it's all new to you. and you think all we have to do is take two tax cuts to solve our common cold because you don't have a clue how to solve this country's challenges. it's i've got the best position in this country and race because i am doing the job and you're dust twiddling your fingers thinking about what it might be like to be president.
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and that is huge. because we all thought the problem was defending the way things are. and he's made the opponents defend the fact they don't know what's going on. and that's the big development in that speech. what a home run that was. >> i mean, for me -- one of my favorite lines came that speech. what a home run that was. >> i mean, for me, some of my favorite lines. one of my favorite lines came early on and the discussion of bold, persistent experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued and it was, i think as chris said, you know, this is part of turning that incumbency around
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as an advantage and i'm not here to say i got it all right, but i pursued this bold, experimentation. the other key was, i didn't do it, you did it. you are responsible for every success. you are responsible for every success. >> i thought the president tonight had one of his strongest finishes. very passionate. but, tonight, the president went after where he had been attacked and mocked by the right wing about hope and change. he specifically pointed out what is different in this country under his leadership. the health care, the immigration, the don't ask, don't tell and he was referring back to the people who had spoken previously in this convention. very well coordinated
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convention, very well coordinated message and about the hope. he put it on the american people. he made me feel good tonight. he made the american people feel good tonight and he gave us confidence. he pointed out what we've been through, what we can get through and where we're going. it was a very visionary speech and it was vintage barack obama. >> you're the reason, you're the reason, you did that, you did that, you did that. let's bring in reverend al sharpton from charlotte. rev? >> well, i think, i think, among other things, the president, as he always has since i've known him, defied expectation. we heard people say his wife spoke, what is he going to be able to do behind this. after bill clinton, i think that he, as he always does, didn't listen to the chatter. he made an epic speech tonight and he did it because he was substantive and he laid out policy, he laid out exactly what he's going to do, but he also brought a bigger vision and, at the same time, he's been criticized a lot on this hope and change. he elevated hope and change. he didn't give it up. he says we're still going to deal with hope, we're still going to deal with change. we had a hard way to go, that's what hope and change is. so, he handed back what people ridiculed to them.
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he handed it back on a silver platter and laid out policies and reduced his opponents to just some people who are chattering somewhere in never never land. i think barack obama won the election tonight. >> he thinks the president won re-election. >> i was struck by the humility in the speech and the celebration of entrepreneurship, the acknowledgment that government isn't always the answer that it's charities and multiple times. i don't think the democrats could have possibly done a better job this week in building a case for the president's re-election. i think their convention was a home run. now, we have to wait for the verdict. did this convention move the numbers? did it change the dynamic in the race? did it close the economic numbers where he's been lagging behind mitt romney? did it give a booster shot, as chris has talked about, of optimism to a pessimistic who think the country is on the wrong track. the president attacked from positions which before have been weaknesses and he went right
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after the republican ticket. it was an effective speech, as almost all of his speeches are. but we'll see over the next couple of days how the country reacts to it. does he have a bounce out of this convention? is he able to open up a lead? >> i thought it was interesting the division of labor between what bill clinton did and what the president did. bill clinton, i don't know if they coordinated this, but bill clinton a defense of the record, it was backward looking, almost
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entirely. this speech, and it's very interesting to think about the terms upon which they want this election to be fought. a choice not a referendum and the future rather than the presence. if it's a referendum on the present and people feeling out of sorts and anxious, that's where they're weakest. and the entirety of this, there was not that much about the record. there were mentions about health care, but they were largely oblique. it was about focusing the electorate forward. >> it has become something that you're supposed to be embarrassed about that you might be moved by politics. the idea that home and change are a punch line. the idea that you would be able to expect anything or feel anything is a sign of weakness. i was moved by the speak. i find it moving. i am happy to be moved. when he says he adlibs, you did that, you did that you did that.
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if you buy into the cynicism that we hoped for is not possible. if you give up on the idea that your voice will make a difference, then other voices will fill the void. if you think you can't do it, there are plenty of very cynical voices that will. bringing it to policy and to specific enemies and in a way that is about believing in politics. >> also, the notion that other specific enemies are the enemy. he stopped and said, okay, these are not the things that are the enemy. people on welfare are not the enemy. people who are gay and lesbian
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are not the enemy. he very specifically said, let me be clear about, you know, what the other side is telling you is the problem. that's not the problem. i recognize we have problems. here are the problems, here's how we'll address them. >> it's our democracy. >> to go back to the biden speech, if we can. we didn't have a chance to touch on that. joe biden talked about the paycheck and dignity and humility. in a sense, explaining what americans go through, almost a clinton line. we feel your pain, we're not there yet. we have empathy for you and we're going to get there. we're working towards a better america. we're not going to leave behind the people who struggled in this
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economy. on one hand, they have a lot to brag about. the number of months of job creation, the automobile industry, we heard a lot about that. there was a tremendous tribute to the military tonight, a tremendous tribute to the veterans and those who sacrifice and that coordinates in with what the president has been talking about all along. shared sacrifice. he hit that tonight in a speech. between former president clinton and between joe biden and the president's speeches tonight, they were all different elements, all packaged together and all on the testimonial, i thought it was fantastic. >> lawrence o'donnell was able to hear the speech in person. i have to get your reaction and also your observations of what it was like to see the president speak there tonight. >> in this crowd, rachel, obviously a love fest. this was his third convention speech. most people in this crowd fell in love with him at his first convention speech at john kerry's convention. the challenge for barack obama was not so much to top bill clinton or top previous speakers, one of the challenges for barack obama is how does he top barack obama? in the previous two convention speeches that have led up to this and have built up the highest expectation that any presidential nominee's ever had for his speech and, of course, an incumbent speech always
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includes challenges that are not there for the first time nominee. those challenges include a record and a record that will always have been, to some extent, circumscribed. he said it will take more than a few years to solve challenges that have built up over decades. that is the essential case that he has to win in terms of his record. he doesn't need to fight the details. chris' point about division of labor in the speeches here is very important. yes, every single word of every speech delivered in this convention hall and every convention hall is coordinated with the nominee's speech. there are people working to make sure that that division of labor is spread out in the right places. you saw joe biden dealing with issues that the president didn't have to deal with quite as thoroughly in his speech and, rachel, he did have to take on hope and change. he did have to defend what has become of hope and change. he said that hope is you speaking to the voters. he said that you did that. when he started to list the accomplishments of his administration. that there are children in
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america today who can get their third surgeries by the time they're 6 years old because they have not worn out the lifetime limit on their health insurance policies and he correctly said that you did that. and what he means is the people who voted for the obama presidency are the people who actually delivered that change to this country and what is hope, if not a vote. what is a vote if it isn't an expression of hope. so, of course, what he is asking for is hope in this administration and in this team going forward and he is saying that the next time you cast your vote, of course, it will be an expression of hope. he made the case tonight as to why a voter can reasonably hope for the change that you would want to see in the next four years by voting for this presidency to continue. >> the addressing of the issue of hope transferring it away from himself as a political
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celebrity and putting it on people to believe in the possibility of change. that is what i find moving as a person who is a civics dork. i find it as a person who really does believe in the project of collective governance. >> citizenship. one thing that just came out, you were just talking about joe biden's speech. this undercurrent in the republican convention of decline. sometimes it felt like they were painting this vision of this monstrous tyranny under which we labor and i felt sometimes it got out ahead of them. people are anxious and upset about the economy, but most swing voters don't feel we're living in some horrible situation and i think they turned that around nicely tonight. when joe biden said, america is not in decline. it highlighted to me the declinest story republicans were telling and the danger of that story because people are bummed about where the country is in many ways, but do not want to be told the country is in decline. and i thought they did a very clever job tonight of turning that around. kind of playing on that and it it made me think for the first time the danger of the
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republicans on message. the dangers of talking on the economy and being too cheerful about it. republicans have a real danger of running the country down. >> any challenger to an incumbent have that. the obama and biden side of saying america's not in decline is that they didn't talk all that much about the job's crisis in this speech because they couldn't talk about that because they had to say, listen, things are getting better. >> one thing i was fascinated in the speech, which could have been a major liability politically for the president if they didn't do it well. i think they did it well, they had to reconcile. the speech that he gave at the 2004 convention, the young barack obama that he referenced to the 2008 convention and now, as commander in chief after four years, he had to tie all three together. he had to reconcile expectations
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with a sense of disappointment, with the fact that the country remains in tough shape and i think he did it as just the structure of the speech. it was just very artfully done over the course of the speech. >> he did it -- >> we're talking about humility. >> he did it by saying i am no longer a candidate. i am the president. and, so -- not only is that just a great line and one that is factually true -- >> fact check, true. >> it is literally true. but he also talks, talked on point about just before he made the turn to, it's not about me, it's about you. he talks about the hard and frustrating and necessary work of self-government. interestingly enough, sort of reflecting back what you had said earlier in the night, chris, when we saw for gabby giffords this idea that self government isn't in and of itself a kind of extraordinary and relatively recent project in
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human history and, so, when he says that it is hard and frustrating, he acknowledges not only the humility for himself as a political figure, but for all of us. we don't have all the answers here, but what we do have is a commitment to the process. >> howard fineman was inside the hall and was able to hear the speech live both observe and have his own reactions there. howard? >> couple things. first, a great sense of family in the hall. for barack obama, truly affection for him on a personal level, which is important and a bit of a contrast to tampa. that's number one. number two, i agree with most of what has been said about them trying to make it a choice and not referendum on unemployment and so forth. that is what is always done in this kind of situation. the thing that struck me was the reference to abraham lincoln. what barack obama was saying is, i was elected on the idea of hope. i was elected as a symbol, just like that big statue of abraham lincoln on the mall. but for abraham lincoln to become abraham lincoln he had to face terrible struggles and trials to make the changes he wanted to make. joe biden began the redefinition in his speech by saying, and i think the words were, there is a journey to hope and the cause of
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change. in other words, we're not there yet. but barack obama was saying tonight, if i can take inspiration of lincoln, i take it as much from his travail as from his symbolism of hope. i think thought it was the most brilliant offense, defensive speech i've seen. they took it to the republicans in a way and they also made it sound and i think it was chris who alluded to this, almost as though it was patriotic to talk down, to talk down america the way the republicans were doing and, also, it's our responsibility. rather than the idea that barack obama himself was the change. that it was easy. when we re-elected him four years ago, it was easy to accomplish the things we wanted to accomplish. what he's saying now, no, no, it was never that easy and i was, it was never going to be flipping a switch. and, you know, that's a very strong argument. i'm not sure everybody will buy
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it, but it was inspiring here in the hall and i think to thoughtful viewers out there who made a strong a case as he possibly could. >> i want to put this to the reverend al sharpton, the lincoln reference. while i'm proud of what we achieved together, i'm far more mindful of my own failings knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. i want to get your reaction to that as a minister and political figure. >> i think that that was a striking statement and quote he did of lincoln. what he did there, he admitted the burdens of leadership. he admitted the weight that was on him, but he also connected with people of faith and said, yes, i get on my knees. i've had to pray about this. i've literally had to bear the weight of this and i think it made a connection with people
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that believe in faith and with those that have the image that he's so cool and unflappable that he doesn't feel the weight. i must also say, i don't think he artfully connected the young barack obama to the more mature barack obama. i think he is the young barack obama that became the more mature obama. i think sometimes we're so used to politicians just flip-flopping and artfully re-creaing themselves that when we get someone that is who he is, then we try to look into things that are not there. the most effective thing i think he did tonight was he reminded the people that believed in the change and believed in the hope he was promoting and he was professing. he reminded them what it was. it was about health care. it was about jobs. we've allowed the people that didn't believe in change to tell us we didn't get the change they
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didn't believe in and that they didn't vote for. so, how are they interpreting a change that they never believed in? >> all right. i thought tonight the president also made a real connection with the country. he's been maligned and accused of not being american. he's been accused by the tea partiers and the extremists out there of not even loving the country. i mean, the president tonight, mean, it was from the heart and a level of sincerity and he orchestrated it so well tonight. michelle obama saying he is the same guy you elected four years ago and he's been through a lot and he hasn't changed. the other thing i want to point out the most retweeted line of the night was, made in america. something that the republicans did not have in any of their speeches. this president is amazing. he consumes the room. he doesn't miss anything. and i think that he made a real point tonight talking about manufacturing, talking about american jobs and made in america, that got retweeted more. it was 52,000 tweets per minute, according to the gov.org people
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that were out there paying attention to that. that is a record, by the way. >> why we are on new miracle analysis. halfway through the speech we got the response from the romney/ryan campaign which proves it was written before they got the speech, which you can definitely tell because the first line of it is tonight president obama laid out the choice in this election, making the case for more of the same policies that have worked in the past four years. the statement is on your screen there. the whole point of the first half of the speech was to make this a choice and not a referendum on president obama. that was the point of president obama's speech. it's a choice, it's a choice, it's a choice. that's what the democrats have been trying to convince the country of. president obama prepared remarks and i don't know if he ad libbed more said the word choice 11 times and makes 22 mentions of that which makes it the point of the speech which means the republicans should not have echoed it in their response. >> you have to love them. i want to point out one thing, ed said the notion of
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citizenship. i thought this was such a brilliant moment because he also said we have this thing called citizenship. and, of course, that has been, as you point out, this nasty, ugly birthrism that has shown up both in the main stream republicans, as well as on the far right. and, so, when he said we have this thing called citizenship and then he redefines it as mutual obligation, and obligation that exists in the sort of public policies, as well as in our community organizations and as well as a in how businesses conduct profit sharing between the top and the bottom, it was really lovely because it was sort of saying, of course, i'm an american, obviously, i am. citizenship is not about a birth certificate. citizenship is an actual set of duties and responsibilities. it was a really lovely kind of counterpunch to that birthrism. >> we talk about maybe the hardest jab that the president
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took against the other side. i mean, there was one, there was a joke right off the top, right. it was, they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan because all they have to officer the same prescription for the last 30 years. deficit too high, try another. it was also the russia stuff. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering.
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after all you don't call russia our number one enemy and not al qaeda, unless you're still stuck in a cold war mind warp. >> or rocky 4. >> but the part where, it also tonight the cheers at, i am the president, was a really amazing moment. for a number of reasons. >> the speech was not written to account for that. >> there is a subtext there about everything that is barack obama in the history of the long ark of the struggle of race in america. everything he symbolized, everything he is, but also just a mundane reminder to the advantages of incumbency. i remember in 2004, george w. bush's acceptance speech at the republican convention in new york, the moment where he talked about talking to the families of the fallen and he was tearing up and it was profoundly emotionally powerful. that is the person who has been there and, you know, whatever decisions, i think the decisions george w. bush made on that front are horrible, but a certain gravity and authority and a weight that comes from being able to speak to the american people from that position that the president really channeled. >> chris matthews in charlotte, do you want to get in on that? >> i think a big part of the president's challenge over the last three to four years is oftentimes he's come off as a brilliant solo act. a person out there doing the job of president. we've all watched him and sort of an observer status.
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it hasn't been a joint effort by the american people to accomplish something the way we had in the '60s with kennedy. a sense of ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country. a sense of being in this actively together. tonight he really worked to fix that. giving credit to the american people for having done the things this administration has done by getting behind it politically and as voters. then to reassert that transaction by saying i ask you again tonight for your vote. asking the most powerful thing in politics. 500 years ago, people are much more bound by what they have done to have done for someone else by what someone has done for them. you have to have a sense of giving. it's not about getting things from a president, having a president lead you to give things to yourself and to invest in. anyone who ever served in the
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military has a tremendous loyalty to the country. every secretary that served a boss is invested in that. the key, loyalty is giving, not taking. therefore, he had to thank the american people, credit them with what they have done the last three or four years so that they would be invested in his re-election. and then to put the cap on that by saying, i need your vote. i'm asking for it. classic tip o'neill politics. asking. people like to be asked. it was so fundament tonight in establishing his leadership to admit, he needs the people before, he needs them now and it's their government. i thought it was phenomenal the way he addressed what i always thought was his biggest problem. >> chris, that is such a powerful point. i think we can turn around that piece of the speech that you were just talking about there, just to remind us. let's just hear this for a second. >> ours is a future filled with hope. if you share that faith with me. if you share that hope with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. if you reject the notion that this nation's promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.
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if you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. >> president obama in his acceptance speech. i want to go to chuck todd, who is at charlotte, who is in the hall and able to hear the speech from there. chuck? >> well, rachel, i think one thing that we sort of should
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look at it this way, is how the president chose to respond to mitt romney's speech. and i thought, frankly, this whole evening felt like a giant response to what mitt romney didn't do in his speech. they spent a lot of time on foreign policy tonight, a lot of time on afghanistan, a lot of time on talking about military families and what's always been fascinating to me when you follow presidential re-elections and the challengers and you know the challenger's convention is always first, so you get time to respond. there is always a miss somewhere if you're the challenger. that was a big mess for romney. you know, you had a lot of conservatives who criticized him for his lack of mention in the war and, no, didn't you see that speech we gave in indiana and it provided the president an opportunity to play a commander in chief card. who knows how heavily he would have played that tonight. yes, we were going to hear a lot about bin laden. would he have done it as much as he had done tonight? as much as biden did and as much as john kerry did if mitt romney doesn't leave that opening. you know, that's one thing that i think helped for the president.
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i heard various, what the table has been saying. i'm in the workman-like camp, as far as what i thought this speech did. they had a lot they needed to accomplish. it seemed like at times they were methodically playing the notes rather than lyrically playing the notes, although i thought at the end, you could feel the crescendo and that last part of the speech was all about talking and trying to get the enthusiasm back. right, we know that is an a issue, particularly with two key groups, hispanics and young voters. that's where you saw that even he got into a speech. there were times where you felt like, he didn't like the fact that he had to deliver some of the "tough love" that he was delivering. the don't change horses in midstream, even though this is a hard slog part of the speech. he sort of enjoyed, you could o tell, closer to the end. >> chuck, i want to go to my friend ed schultz here. >> it is a reflection of who the candidates are. it was a great reflection on president obama and not so good on the republican candidate. i think if you compare the two conventions, this one hit it out of the park as opposed to who mitt romney is. as chris was saying, people liked to be asked to do things.
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say the feel like they're connected. the hardest thing for a politician to do is to tell the american people that this is what i got to get out of you. and, tonight, the treasury has to be addressed, if we're going to fix this country's finances. he said, i want to reform the tax code and that's so it's simple and fair. okay, that feels good. everybody is onboard with that, especially the republicans. and we're going to ask the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes, $250,000. now, look, we can't get there unless there's the shared sacrifice. and that was the tough talk that i was looking for tonight, but it didn't feel like tough talk. you know, he set it up in such a good manner and then he followed it up by saying, you know, we'll go back to the clinton rates if i'm president, if i'm re-elected and we created 23 million jobs when from when we had that rate. he surrounded it with the positives and the tough talk saying we have to get there and get more money from the wealthiest americans if we turn this thing around and then
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talked about what he was going to do with simpson bowles and make the tough calls. >> we're going to have to take a break here in just a second. as we go to break, we were just talking about the front paging of foreign policy military and the wars and chuck raising the interesting prospect that maybe the democrats may not have done that as heavily as they did had the republicans not sort of flubbed so badly by never mentioning the war in either of their acceptance speeches. let's hear a little bit of that and then we'll be right back. >> after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy a, not al qaeda, russia. unless you're still stuck in a cold war mine warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing, if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent said it was tragic to end the war in iraq. and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. well, i have, and i will.
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>> hello everyone. here is what's happening. president obama delivered his speech at the democratic national convention. he acknowledged it would take more time to solve challenges but pledged to restore the middle class to prosperity. >> and defending his decision
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not to address the afghan war in his speech. romney said he discussed the war in an appearance the night before. our coverage returns after this short break. question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
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in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did.
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i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have. we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> president barack obama accepting the democratic party's nomination for president again tonight. the reference there to our longest war will be over in 2014. it is already our nation's longest war. right now it's 2012. that means our nation's longest
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war will not be over next year or the year after that and still talking about being residual forces there. that, however, is a lot more than the republican opponents to this president were able to say about afghanistan, even obliquely in their own convention about that. something that was really seized on by the democrats in this week at their convention and, tonight, by the president, by the vice president and all night long in the democrats final night of their convention. now to andrea mitchell who is in charlotte on the floor who has seen all these speeches and many before these. i am wondering on that issue of afghanistan, how you feel the democrats handled it and what you feel about their decision to front page it? >> i think that decision would have been made pretty much because of that commitment. but after tampa, it was absolutely a certainty. the fact that the republican speeches, particularly mitt
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romney's speech made no mention of afghanistan. made it certain that they were going to focus on this in a very big way here. and you heard, not only the president who spoke so memorably about it, but joe biden talking about 6,473 fallen angels more than 49,000 wounded and those who have to come home and need the help of the veterans assistance and their medical care. that they will need care for the rest of their lives. they talked about the government, not as an obstacle to getting things done, but the government as a necessary component to getting things done. so, when they talk about contrast, it's clearly a contrast that they laid out and mitt romney, i guess, in that three or four-line response today indeed said that it is a choice. the choices are very clear.
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this was a value speech. it was red meat, certainly, for the base, but the values that were expressed by both joe biden and barack obama tonight could not be clearer. and especially as you were pointing out, all of the references. more than 20 references in the president's speech to the word choice. you know when he spoke about choice for women, that was one of the loudest cheers. >> andrea let me ask you specifically on this afghanistan point. you followed both campaigns closely and know something about not who they think about these issues and we see the romney/ryan folks scrambling to having to make up for having ignore the war and mitt romney is essentially off the campaign trail, but did do an event and did find time to do an off-camera event today around military issues. you can see them planning to do
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something. i honestly, when i say this without hint of criticism a minute, i have no idea what mitt romney will say he's going to do in afghanistan when somebody finally tells him he has to say something about afghanistan. do we know anything about what his views are on the war? he has said, he really has taken just about every position you could take on how to get out. >> it's been in recent months and in the debates and in the primaries. so, i'm frankly confused about it. i think they have to be a lot clearer about the war. during the convention the best information that i have is that they felt that the economy was the note that they had to hit because they do have an advantage in all of the polls in terms of mitt romney's ability and people think that mitt romney has much better ability to fix the problems of the economy. and, certainly, it is something that president obama is vulnerable on. we'll see what those job numbers are if any indicators are to be believed. and people who make predictions based on that are usually wrong. but, the fact is the president does know he was briefed about 5:30 today after the close of the markets, as we've been reporting, as has always been the custom in all administrations by his chief economic adviser. they know what those numbers are and this is the next to last big job's report, of course, before the closing report, which will indicate what is going to happen
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on election day most likely. but, clearly, the romney campaign has got to come to grips with this foreign policy issue of the wars and the president took it head on. >> yeah, absolutely. >> andrea, thank you very much for that. steve, let me put this to you. that has been the explanation, the political explanation of what happened last week on the issue of afghanistan. it is, it is, i think it is incredibly frustrating to hear. we think we only need to market mitt romney on the economy because, obviously, that's his strength. that's what we want to run on and we didn't feel like we needed to address those other things. no commander in chief, the president makes economic decisions but the president can order just about nothing to happen on the u.s. economy. the president can nominate supreme court nominees and can order the u.s. military to do what he thinks it is in the best judgment, his best judgment is the right thing for this country. that is what he can directly control and, do we know if he's got advisors on issues like afghanistan and foreign policy who are bringing in any
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post-bush cheney ideas? republicans who are thinking about things differently than the last administration? >> i don't know the answer. he has not talked about it a great deal during the course of the campaign. we disagree on many things, we agree 100% with each other on this. the omission of afghanistan in the speech was a huge mistake by the campaign. the obama campaign took full political advantage of it tonight and there is a point beyond politics. that point is, there is no higher responsibility for a president, for the commander in chief than to the men and women that he commands. we have 85,000 men and women in harm's way at this exact moment in afghanistan. and the country deserves to hear these candidates talk about our longest war and how we're going to leave afghanistan with honor and with this, with this
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country's head held high. >> in your answer to your question, we got a little reference tonight about who is advising mitt romney. john kerry told us that he had bush neo-cons around him. i'm sure john bolton is somewhere in there. they did mention afghanistan and they just turned it over to clint eastwood and made him answer the empty chair and made a reference to russia. >> when john kerry mocked the multiple positions that mitt romney has taken on afghanistan, what he was highlighting, they're in somewhat of a political box. i actually think the one space they have politically is to get to the president's left on afghanistan, as you just said, and say why are we going to stay in the longest war in the country's history and keep people there until 2014, if everyone and all the reporting coming out of afghanistan says essentially it's a foregone conclusion that the government we are supporting is going to fall apart when we leave and clint eastwood very succinctly put it, if you are going to say
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you're leaving at a certain point, why not leave now? it's impossible for mitt romney to make that case because of who controls foreign policy in the apparatus. he's caught between those two things. >> so -- >> he's just following it blindly. not even understanding what it means in this case. john huntsman on this issue sketched out very clear, hard nosed republican sounding traditional line on this that didn't make him into an isolationist that made him a realist and he was laughed off the stage. president obama tonight sketched a dream of america that at least economically is back on its feet and moving forward after a lot of years of recession and war. his message was a throwback to almost a certain kind of normal. >> i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country. goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more
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opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> real, achievable plan. a real politic. i want to turn here to ezra klein. >> i was really struck by the actual policy agenda in the speech. if you got past the rhetoric t was a modest policy agenda. that is what was different about it from in 2008. he talked about goals like doubling exports. like creating a million manufacturing jobs. he talked about goals like getting 2 million workers trained through community colleges for jobs of the future and bringing college tuition down by about half. this wasn't like his not only in the 2000 campaign, but his presidency where he was dealing with the collapse of the financial sector and the potential collapse of the economy and the collapse of the euro zone and the complete restructuring of the health care system and cap and trade and order to slow the rising of the oceans and on and on and on. in a sense, this was a promise that the second term will be in
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a way much more normal than the first term. it will be obama in this particular way, so it will be against mitt romney. what you get with his second presidency is basically politics as it was in the period before the long emergency that we had that began with 9/11 in the bush years which iraq, afghanistan and then the financial crisis at the end of the bush years which defined much of obama's presidency. this was a sense of those problems were not present in the vision obama sketched out of what his second term would look like.
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>> the long emergency is the right way to think about that. one of the things that everybody is looking for is this president, some day, or some president some day to declare an end to the war on terror. right? you think of the expansion of executive power and all of these sort of state and extreme policies that were first proposed during the bush administration and many continued by the bush administration that are all justified even by us being in a state of war by defining that long emergency like you just did, that raises the question of when that emergency ends. when we can start talking about a need for normal policymaking and also when we declare the time of war to be over, if only for the purpose of saying that those extreme powers of the state that we claim for war time should also be wrapped up. >> authorization of use of military force still legal document that binds and is cited as the authority for all sorts of actions. >> something else he mentioned the single most surprising thing to me in the speech, climate change is not a hose. more droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. they're a threat to our
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children's future and in this election, you can do something about it. i would bet you, i don't know, what are you supposed bet $10,000 if you're mitt romney, that that would not be in the speech. >> i'm a gulf coast resident and i live in post-katrina new orleans and now post-isaac new orleans. just to indicate, it's not funny to talk about the oceans. we also heard it in biden's speech when he said there is actually responsibility. you know, it's interesting because part of how they framed it by president biden and president obama a is part of this notion of reframing of values, which is part of what we heard also from andrea there. i just want to say that i know this was a big of a workhorse speech and i certainly know as ezra pointed out a bit of a modest workhorse and maybe a donkey, for example. but it was, it did an interesting thing at the end and the thing at the end that it did, it was -- you know, i'm not a preacher in the way that reverend sharpton is and i'm a seminarian and that was romans' 8. if you know romans 8, that was like the civil rights movement chapter. it is a chapter about hope and hoping in things that you cannot see because if you look just for the evidence of those things
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that it's not really hope. it's also about the belief that even when everything is against you, there is still something to go forward to. so he did this really a amazing secular version of, that had all of the inspiration of all the black church but also very specifically romans 8. i have to tell you, that says to me that this is not just a workhorse campaign. this is going to be a campaign where he is going to try to recapture some of that, some of that soaring rhetoric. >> i think we heard that. i think we heard that both in the talk liberally about citizenship and also in his addressing what his candidacy meant to people trying to reclaim that. i want to go to reverend sharpton and chris in charlotte, as well. >> i think the quote in the scriptures is faith is the substance of things and hope for the evidence of things unseen. when you look at where we were and he outlined where we are and where we need to go, he really laid out a vision. you know, it is interesting since the scriptures is brought up, there is a quote in the scriptures that without a vision that people perish. i think that people will leave charlotte with a vision of what
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mr. obama as president has in mind. i still have no idea what the vision that romney and ryan is offering america. i know what they're against. i know what they are bitter about, i know their cynicism and their doubt, but what is the vision? people can't hold on to something, if you don't give them something to hold on to. he gave us that tonight. >> chris matthews, last word. >> what i said at the end of this speech, i think the most important political development tonight was that the president of the united states made clear to his opponents and those watching the campaign, you're better off being president of the united states than running against him. incumbency became his great strength tonight. he found a way to show that all the advantages of incumbency were his and the other guy is
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just somebody on the outside tapping on the window. >> i need to thank steve schmidt and lawrence o'donnell and we'll all be back together for the first presidential debate october 3rd 9:00 eastern at the university of denver. chris matthews picking up our coverage from charlotte in just a moment. boy, what a week this has been. thank you so much for spending to meppnt edeo a
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>> hello. here is what's happening. saying the times have changed and so have i. president obama formally accepting the democratic nomination. he con seeded it would take more time to solve america's challenges. both the obama and romney campaigns will be watching closely as the august employment report comes out later this morning. economists expect it to hold steady with 123,000 non-farm jobs created. we will head back to convention coverage after this short break.
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madam chairwoman, delegates, i accept your nomination for president of the united states. i'm chris matthews in the beautiful city of charlotte, north carolina, for a special
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live "hardball." eight years ago a speech at the democratic convention up in boston, at that speech barack obama became a political superstar. four years ago, his speech helped push him into the white house. well, tonight, after four years in office, the president delivered a home run of a speech. the president stated clearly and emphatically, he is the president. >> i recognize that times have changed since i first spoke to
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this convention. if the critics are right that i've made all my decisions based on polls, then i must not be very good at reading them. >> i loved it. i'm joined right now by howard fineman and david and both are msnbc -- look, i need to tell you something guys. you weren't here. when he said i am the president, this place went nuts. why? why? >> we were in the hall and it went nuts there, too. >> why did he have to say -- because of the stink bombs out there being thrown by people who won't accept his legitimacy right now. >> i think there are so much in
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those few words. i think your point is there and i think he was also saying, i'm the commander in chief. i know what it is like to make hard decisions. you don't know, mitt romney, you
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messed it up last week. i think he also said, look, when i was a kid i could talk about hope and change and these lofty values and now i'm doing the work and that is different than being a candidate. it's time that we grow up. >> i thought he was saying something else, too, chris. in the hall it read this way to me. he was saying, i am your president, i am the president. don't lose this opportunity that we have here. in other words, he was also reminding people in the hall to work for him, to care about his success and to get him re-elected. there was a big push four years ago in a historic achievement that i am the president, don't give up what we've got here. i thought that was another message. >> i love it. >> tough words for mitt romney. he took on the republican fetish for tax cuts for the rich. this was funny. let's watch. >> our friends down in tampa at the republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan. and that's because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. have a surplus, try a tax cut. deficit too high. try another.
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feel a cold coming on, take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. >> chris, i have to say -- >> howard. >> that was not only true, but hilarious. it got a great line in the hall. >> it's so true. >> what he's doing here and what i thought they did so successfully tonight is a piece of political engineering. rather than have this be a referendum on what is, after all, still a really tough economy with a lot of unemployed people and a lot of poor people, et cetera, was turn this into the classic choice election for the future versus the past. and i think that the republican convention gave them an opening, not only because of lack of specificity, but because they didn't amplify on paul ryan's opening as the younger gen-x guy to do the generational argument. so, because they did axelrod were able to turn this into the best defense oriented speech i've seen. >> he used the word choice at
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least ten times in this speech. he has been thinking about this speech since election day 2010 and he wanted to make it about choice, but not just about the choice between him and romney, a choice in visions and a choice in values. i mean, i was talking to people in the white house in early december, 2010. they saw the tea party give them a tremendous opening. this is about what kind of country we're going to be. >> especially the republican convention and campaign has only been about the existing economic condition and the other brilliant thing he did tonight, the president, was to say that people who doubt the ability of the american people to come back, i.e., the republicans, are unpatriotic. he tried to make it unpatriotic and hear about economic conditions. >> you know what i hear tonight, basically his idea of citizenship and its people. corporations are not people. >> that's the whole thing. >> romney's talking about business and wealthy getting tax cuts and corporations and all this mechanical business and this guy is talking about individual -- it was like citizens united against citizens united. >> he is talking about basic values and he's pushing a progressive, communal approach to the nation's problems and he
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said quite bluntly that they believe in doing it on your own. and this is what -- >> a very good line he said. just because government shouldn't do everything, doesn't mean that government should do nothing. and i thought that was a zinger to express the values that david talked about. >> they use tax cuts for the common cold. here's the other zinger against foreign policy. on what romney had to do with foreign policy. this opening line from him, take a look. >> my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that costs america so dearly. after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you're still stuck in a cold war mind warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing, if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. >> that was a riot. >> what i thought was really
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interesting is he did not spend much time talking about mitt romney. he said nothing really about paul ryan specifically, but when he did, they were zingers that went out of the park and, you know, he's very sarcastic in his way, but he uses it in a very strategic fashion and i think it has more impact. the speech was not about him. it was not about the other guys, it was about the path ahead, the future. >> but that foreign policy part of it was a lot of fun for democrats because it's the first time in a generation or more that the democrats have been able to strut the commander in chief thing. >> how about blooper reel. he said it was foreign trip over to england was a blooper reel. >> i'm not sure how many votes that's going to get the president. >> moved churchill statue wherever he moved it and brought it back, he's now saying it is our closest ally. let's take a look at the rest of it.
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let's look at another clip. >> now, i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy. i never have. you didn't elect me to tell me what you wanted to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. it will require common effort and shared responsibility. and the kind of bold persistent explanation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. but know this, america, our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and i'm asking you to choose that future. >> i love it. he's asking people to choose to get him to double down on him. the great american transaction and democratic politics. you ask people to give you authority. >> right. now, this to me was the shrewdest, but in the way the
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trickiest part of the speech because the fact is four years ago people did think, perhaps wrongly, but they did think that barack obama was the easy answer. he wasn't the easy answer. in fact, there were no easy answers. and he's relying on the good faith and judgment of the american people to understand that. he used the lincoln analogy, which i thought was fabulous. but you can't be lincoln. no instant lincoln. if you want to be lincoln, you have to go through war or go through the economic equivalent of the kind of transition from
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lincoln time to an industrial society in this time to an information and education-based society and that's what he's saying. he's saying if you thought it was lincoln, it's not that easy. if you want me to be lincoln, you have to stick with me. >> can he get re-elected if the economy doesn't get better between now and november? >> good question. this was a very serious speech. it was taking the american voter as a mature entity and saying, you know, there was no soaring rhetoric. >> answer my question. >> well, the answer is we won't know until november, chris. >> but does he believe it? >> i'll tell you what axelrod believes. he said, look, this will test the proposition whether the american people can look at their problems and not go for instant gratification. if they don't do that, he's sunked. but he said i'm betting on you to look at these paths and make an informed judgment and not be distracted by the silliness. >> we'll see. >> it's a tough sell. >> it's a tough sell. >> but this was the best possible case he could have made for more time. and i thought he did it very well. were there too many, was there 2'1too much enthusiasm before two years ago? was that all his fault? no. are people going to hold his responsible for the thoughts of four years ago? i don't know. i doubt it, but that's the
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question raised by this speech. >> always bet on brains. this guy's got them. thank you, howard fineman. coming up, we finally saw president obama's surrogates, i call them his confederates out there and bill clinton is leading the biggest of them all. are they going to stick with him and it's the key question. this is our live coverage of the democratic national convention. >> if you turn away now and buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for is impossible, well, change will not happen. if you give up on the idea that your choice will make a difference, then other voices will fill the voids. >> lobbyists and special interests and people with the 10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote. washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for
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>> i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country. goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states. welcome back to "hardball" with me now joy reid and bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter.
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let's keep going and looking at the president's speech. here's president obama, he took, i thought a humble tone even invoking president lincoln at the end of his remarks. let's listen to this. well, i think -- we don't have it right now. remember that quote, he talked about how lincoln understood how you can't hide from the office once you're in it and basically sometimes the problems are so intractable and that you have to face them down. >> yeah, absolutely. the thing i liked about the speech is that he didn't run away from the record. he said, we did this together, we moved ourselves forward and he was trying to invest his audience in what he was doing and you also saw the solitary nature of the office. >> lincoln once said in his greatest address, the second inaugural, he referred to the war, the civil war on which all else depends.
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does he success in getting re-elected in november depend on the economy getting an upturn between now and then? it sounds like he's not counting on that? >> it doesn't depend on that at all. getting in the groove with where the american public is. the thing that is as about the lincoln reference, it allowed him to say that he had failed in certain respects. just as lincoln had failed and lincoln had to get down on his knees to show that he could understand how you move through the trial by fire to a new place. >> we now have his remarks. the president addressing, as most presidents do in difficult times the circumstances of abraham lincoln during the civil
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war. >> i'm proud of what we achieved together i'm mindful of my own failings knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i was driven to my knees many time by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. >> what did you think of this speech? >> you know what, i thought it was a smart speech. i thought in the first half it was sort of walking people through the explanatory portion and i thought the second portion was quite beautiful. that was actually one of my favorite parts. what he was doing, he was creating sort of a sense of community. this was a vision speech. i think what we saw from bill clinton was, you know, the meat and potatoes and i think this provided some vision.
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i actually thought it was great. i also thought think it a speech of a guy who thinks he's winning. this is a guy who feels like, you know, i can do this, we can win this. he understands what he needs is to get those people in that audience to work for him and do the work of getting it done. >> john, i want you to respond to this. asking for their support. i think this is so important in politics. stick your neck out and be humble and say, i need your vote. please give it to me. let's watch him. >> if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. america, i never said this journey would be easy and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. >> and i ask you tonight for your vote, the most fundamental transaction you can imagine. john? >> you have to ask in politics. this is the thing that all the good ones understand. there's a great old war story about a voter who came up, old friend of the candidate and it
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says, did you vote for me? and the guy says, no, why? because you didn't ask. there is, people are placing their faith in these politicians and there has to be a sincerity that's at the core of it. and this is at the beginning of the speech when he talked about how phony these ads were and he didn't want to say, i approve this message and that was president obama going to the greatest strength as a precision, authenticity. >> it was so much about spiritual content to this speech tonight. it wasn't about corporations and money and it was about, i'm just a person. i may be bigger than you in power, but i need you personally. here he is, the president arguing that government isn't always the cure. in fact, it was quite honest about being something of a moderate, not a lefty here. certainly not a socialist. listen to this. >> we know the churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone.
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we don't want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don't want bailouts for banks that break the rules. we don't think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think that the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles. >> so much of this week has been, guys, a clear expression that we are not the left wing party. that we are center left, the democrats. that we are people who believe in government action, but we believe in limited government, as much as anybody in america does. >> but also to use patriotism in a new way. i think when we look back at these two conventions, chris, the mistake that mitt romney made. the big mistake if he loses is
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that he didn't mention veterans or salute our troops in his speech and obama did. i just got a call from my 90-year-old father who's a world war ii combat veteran and he was genuinely upset that the republican party did nothing. this is the republican party that has wrapped itself in hawkishness for the last half century. tonight, the democrats went right through that hole in the line of scrimmage and they had thank you, signs, thank you to the troops. they had an admiral up there making the case very strongly. they have an opportunity here to become the party of patriotism, not the party of global capitalism that knows no allegiance to the united states. >> the president also touted his foreign policy accomplishments and he took time, as you say, to honor the troops. i think you're so right here. i want you to follow up on this, joy. let's listen. >> four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked
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us on 9/11 and we have. we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. tonight, we pay tribute to the americans who still serve in harm's way. we are forever in debt to generation who sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. we will never forget you. and so long as i'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. >> joy, it's, it was a joy. and i, i think that hawks, neo-cons whatever you want to call them these days, talk of a new war whether it's iran,
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syria, they never talk about the real human cost. jill biden who said something, the president, a lot of people that come back for more are never really healed. they'll spend the rest of their lives in and out of military hospitals, veteran hospitals. >> i think what's incredible. bill clinton must be smiling on this speech. this is the ultimate triangulation. republicans couldn't stand the idea of barack obama. they even gave up patriotism. they gave up that card. they couldn't delight in the killing of osama bin laden, they couldn't delight in the idea of the united states getting the olympics. they can't delight even in the basic patriotism of being an american and saluting the commander in chief leaving the democrats open to just run right through it and they are the ones waving the flag. they were the ones screaming usa, usa and now they own that and the republicans handed it to them. >> they're on their way to owning it. they don't quite own it yet. the debates offer real opportunity. look, he has a bad hand that he's playing well, but he needs to continue to do it in those debates and he's going to do it by pummeling mitt romney on foreign policy and national
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security and staying on the offensive in those issues. >> you were a hardballer, joy, i think you're great. anyway, thank you. we'll be back from charlotte right after this. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. >> i know a campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes. trivial things become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. the truth gets buried underneath an avalanche of money and advertising. and if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i.
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these people have been waiting here all night. how did you like the president's speech? >> i thought the president nailed it. i think he addressed all the
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issues that had not necessarily been articulated. he covered everything that i needed him to cover and i just think that america should be ready to vote for our president, again. >> having been unemployed since january, he is our dream come true. >> thank you. >> as a small business owner, i pay my own health insurance and i think the president has nailed it with health care. >> i think he should promote health care a little bit more because i was a care giver and it would have helped me tremendously had obama care been around when my mother was here. >> i'm voting for obama because i believe in his vision for this country. >> i loved his speech. and it especially inspired me because i'm a student and we need that money. >> okay, you want to talk, too? >> obama speech was great. i loved it. it inspired me so much. i can't wait to go to school on monday. >> we have somebody special here. go ahead. >> i loved obama's speech
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because of all that he does for the -- >> i think we have somebody in the wrong place here. >> hi, chris. you can go to mittlight.com. i am the transition candidate for them. >> what are you doing here anyway? mitt romney lookalike. we don't know about you yet. what are you doing here? >> influencing people to make the right decision. >> what do you think of your competitor's speech tonight? >> what did i think about it? let's look at the facts as they surface tomorrow. >> that's really skipping over the facts. your thoughts about the speech tonight, sir? >> i thought he was very great, passionate and level headed. he's great. >> madam -- >> i think that the president proposes legislation and the congress disposes of it and the president has dealt with an insufferable obstructionist -- >> they have done nothing but -- >> yes, yes, we're going to win this war.
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>> we're going to win it. yes. the president did his job. >> what do you think? >> you're chewing gum, come on. >> i thought he did a great job, i was impressed. i like his line, i'm not a candidate any more. he's now the president. >> my favorite line is, i am the president. you got me right. thank you. we'll be right back with more of "hardball." >> folks, i've watched him. he has never wavered. he never, never backs down. he always steps up and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings the same fundamental question, how is this going to affect the average american? how is this going to affect people's lives? we know a place where tossing and turning
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>> gabby, gabby, gabby! >> okay. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of
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america and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. welcome back to "hardball." that moment when former u.s. congresswoman gabrielle giffords led the hall in pledge of allegiance. the person with me right now is the person helping her get there. debbie wasserman schultz. congressman crowley of queens, new york, joins me right now. you know, first of all, first of all, this is the best convention
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i have heard of, ever. but the one it competes with is the one where bill clinton got nominated and he picked up like 35 points. this is going to have such a bounce, don't you think? >> i think, if i do say so myself, number one, it was such a team effort. we had, you know, thousands of volunteers and charlotte was an incredible host committee and our staff was amazing. but this, on top of the fact this was a great convention and did all the things the convention should do, fire up your supporters and make the clear choice and uncontrast with what was such a negative anti-obama convention this one was positive and forward thinking and laid out the two paths and the two visions we have in front of us.
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>> let's take a look at the, let's take a look at the -- here's john kerry rebuking mitt romney. this was a very good speech. if he gave the only speech, it would have been the best. this is him going after mitt romney for forgetting the fact that we're at war in his acceptance speech last week. here's john kerry. let's listen. >> no nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. mitt romney, mitt romney was talking about america. they are on the front lines every day defending america and they deserve our thanks. >> you know, the difference between conventions is unbelievable, congressman. i don't know. it was like a business meeting people were forced to go to. this is about spirit, this is about people and almost like john henry going against the machine. >> you know what i said yesterday, chris, i was one of the local media outlets grabbed me and they said, how would you describe the feeling here? i said, it might sound sophomoric but it is happy, people have very happy here.
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people are enjoying themselves. i don't know what it is, but it's been great. >> that moment when john kerry talked about the fact that mitt romney didn't even mention our troops that are fighting in afghanistan now in his entire speech, you want to talk about the sin of omission. >> he just doesn't want to deal with the results of the current ones. here's president obama poking holes at romney's economic plans and gave a nod to bill clinton, which he should. let's listen. >> now, i'm still eager to reach an a agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. but when governor romney and his friends in congress tell us we can lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy. well, what bill clinton call it, you do the arithmetic. you do the math.
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i refuse to go along with that. >> you know, this is going to cause a problem for the republicans because when you keep treating it like elementary school, you'll cut the corporate tax and get rid of the estate tax and get rid of the cap gains tax and you're going to spend, $2 trillion more in the military. >> and cut spending. >> it adds up to a much bigger debt. >> who pays for it? people can read through all of this. you don't have to say it, they get it. i also thought tonight, chris, for me, the president talking about the essence of democracy. citizenship. i thought it was a great answer and i think he followed through on it. didn't directly talk about it. the whole entrepreneurism and how those words were taken and really worked against the president, how about our men and women overseas?
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the men and women over decades who have sacrificed their lives for a free market system for capitalism to survive so that small businessmen and women can have a country where they can grow a business. those people died and i think the omission by romney in his speech to the sacrifices made, not only now, but forever. >> what would he know about the military? he's had no experience in that whole world. i think the legitimacy question hit me tonight. the president has to say, i'm the president. the president of the united states has to show his documents because the right wingers demanded him. yet, george romney ran for president and panama and barry gold was born in the arizona territory and nobody ever said, where are your papers to prove you were born in the united states. >> debbie was born in queens, new york. >> i will tell you, the fact
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that he is black is the reason they're asking for his papers. it's so obvious, doesn't anybody else get it? >> after a night like this and a week like this, what's important to focus on is that president he's made decisions that were hard, but right. that he inherited the largest set of problems any president since fdr and he took on the tough problems we have and that we have a long way to go. after bill clinton made the case that the problems that he inherited from failed policies of the past, we weren't going to be able to climb out of in just few short years. >> great convention, you did it. debbie a wasserman schultz. anyway, up next, hollywood came to charlotte for the big night tonight. we'll talk with america ferrera a about the latino and latina vote. idide?
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>> governor romney believes. he believes that kids, kids like our dreamers, those immigrant children, those immigrant children who are brought to american shores through no fault of their own, he thinks they're a drag on the american economy. president obama believes that even though those dreamers, those kids didn't choose to come here, they have chosen to do right by america and it's time for us to do right by them. >> that was vice president joe biden. of course, earlier tonight in the rousing defense of the policy on immigration here in charlotte a lot of firsts this week, including the first latino keynote speaker mayor julian castro and president obama won the latino vote in 2008 and hoping to do it, again. this november by about 2-1. with me are the women chairwoman and actress rosario dawson.
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2012 co-chair and actress america ferrera who appeared in "the good wife." anyway, ceo and president and msnbc maria theresa kumar. i will get out of your way to some extent. i want you to watch the president here. here is the president talking about this issue of immigration tonight. >> we don't think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think that the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or
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any other group we're told to blame for our troubles. so you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens. you were the change. you are the reason the young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home. >> you know, you know, i really thought this whole thing got off to a really good start in terms of immigration when the mayor of san antonio who was great came on and basically told the spirit of the immigrant coming north from latin america in the same way most of us are experience with the immigration period earlier in the last century from europe. >> that's right. >> and made it seem so much alike that it was really, really
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smart. your thoughts. >> it's the american story. i think what we saw first with julian castro and then what we saw with biden and dick durbin, the author of the dream act to introduce the president. what we saw is the themes of making a -- we stand with american communities and we stand with the american community. >> julian castro, i never knew about this guy until this week, he is good. here he is speaking about the american dream itself in its broadest terms in the keynote earlier this week. let's listen to him. >> the american dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house, she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own, but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for
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civil rights so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. >> what did you think? what was your feeling in hearing that? >> i mean, it's, it's beautiful. and it's true. and it's my story and the story of so many millions to be precise, 22 million american latinos who can vote in this election. >> when governor romney talks, and i don't know if he means it or not, because you never know. with all politicians, you never know for sure. with him you're less likely to believe, but he says he's going to throw everybody out of this country who doesn't have papers.
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what do you think when you hear that, rosario. >> i think that would be incredibly devastating for this country. >> do you think he means it? >> regardless if he means it, bringing up that kind of a solution to a very real problem and to very real issue and we're trying to talk about immigration reform and saying that would be the solution that he would use is critically devastating to this country if we would get rid of people who are working here and behind the scenes and the taxpayer money that goes in because they're using false social security numbers and they never get to take that money back out. that doesn't just represent mexicans people from around the world, people who overstayed their visas. a lot of people who came here illegally came here by plane. it would be shocking to realize the neighbors next to them that would be deported. >> benita spoke last night and she came to the states as a child and been living here as an undocumented immigrant. she is the first ever in that kind of status to speak before any national convention, yet alone a national political
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convention. let's listen to some of what she had to say. >> i know i have something to contribute to my economy and my country. i feel just as american as any of my friends or neighbors. but i've had to live almost my entire life knowing i could be deported, just because of the way i came here. president obama fought for the dream act to help people like me. and when congress refused to pass it, he didn't give up. instead, he took action so that people like me can apply to stay in our country and contribute. we will keep fighting for reform, but while we do, we're able to work, study and pursue the american dream. >> maria, why should people, i'm going to ask you. i'm giving you the floor. latino, latina, make the case. why should people vote in your community? in this election for president in two months? >> nothing else is going to determine where we're going to go next unless we have individuals that are paying attention to our issues. we care about the economy, and education. the latino community has to come out in force because we're
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talking about the margin. in north carolina, north carolina won the vote by 14,000 votes. that's five votes per precinct, chris. that's a close election. we have 22 million latinos that have to get registered and represent their community and their country. >> is everybody in the latina community as beautiful as you three are? just kidding. let's go to you, rosario. you are involved politically as well as being in show business. what do you say to people why they should vote? >> i say actually a lot of what the president said today which is very exciting. which is talking about this election and hope and change and everything that happened before he became president and everything that will happen long in the future is that this, every election is about the people and the citizens is what makes this country great. if we do not participate and show up, the void will be filled by lobbyists and corporations and citizens united are corporations of people. those are the people who will be
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voting and i don't think that's where this country -- >> what generation are you american? >> i was born as a naturalized citizen. >> what generation are you? >> well, my mom is a second generation, i'm second generation from my grandfather's side and first generation from my mom's. >> you're the first one born here? >> first generation. >> first born here. you're political, now, why are you involved? >> well, i'll tell you, chris, i remember growing up in california when prop 187 was around. >> i remember. >> and i remember having to be pulled over before i went to school. i must have been in second or third grade and my mom having to have a conversation with me about the fact that i'm an american and regardless of what anybody might say to me, what a teacher or an administrator or maybe even another kid might say about what was going on to
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remember that i am an american and i had the rights that every american and every other student in that school had. >> she felt she had to do that even though you were born here? >> there was the potential of facing harassment. >> rosario dawson and thank you, america, thank you, america. i want to thank our own maria theresa kumar. that is it for our coverage, i think one of the finest ever this week in charlotte. thanks for watching and good night from all of us at msnbc.
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this is msnbcs continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. poob accepting the nomination for the second time for the democratic party's nomination for president of the united states in a, for lack of a better word, a big, big speech. eyes on the horizon speech. the speech harnessing his power to not just policy and a little bit about his opponent, but a
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statement of citizenship to a literate, literary digression of humility, talking about hard times and from this president, something we are not used to hearing, an overt request for a vote. i'm asking for your vote. chris matthews in charlotte. >> i think tonight he did it again. the profound thing he accomplished was to turn the table to those who thought income ban si would be a problem. the most powerful statement he made was i am the president. i am the president. you are not. i had to do the tough things of leading this country and you haven't. you don't have a clue about foreign policy. it's all new to you. you think all we have to do is take tax cuts because you don't
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have a clue as to how to solve the country's challenges. it was a profound statement of, i have the best position in this country because i am doing the job and you are twidling your fingers thinking what it is like to be president. that is huge. we thought the problem was defending the way things are. he's made the opponents defend, the fact they don't know what's going on. what a home run that was. >> yes. to me, my favorite lines came fairly early on. it was discussion of bold, persistent experimentation that president franklin roosevelt pursued. this is part of turning that around as an advantage and say no, i'm not here to say i got it all right, but i'm here to pursue this. the key was saying i didn't do
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it, you did it. you are responsible for every success. >> i thought the president had one of the strongest finishes, very passionate. tonight, the president went after him where he has been attacked and mocked by the right wing about hope and change. he specifically pointed out what is different in this country under his leadership, health care, immigration, don't ask, don't tell. he was referring back to the people who had spoken previously in this convention. very well coordinated convention. very well coordinated message. he put it on the american people. he made me feel good tonight. he made the american people feel good. he gave us confidence. he pointed out what we can get through and where we are going. it was vintage barack obama. >> you are the reason. you are the reason. you did that. you did that. reverend al sharpton.
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rev. >> i think, among other things, the president, as he always had, expeckation. his wife spoke. what is he going to do behind that. bill clinton. he didn't listen to the chatter. he made an epic speech tonight. he did it because he was substantive. he laid out policy. he laid out exactly what he's going to do. he brought out bigger vision. he's been criticized on hope and change. he elevated hope and change, he didn't give it up. we are still going to deal with hope. we are still going to deal with change. we had a hard way to go. that's what hope and change is. he handed it back on a silver platter, laid out policies and reduced his opponents to people
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chattering somewhere in never, never land. i think barack obama won the election tonight. >> you heard al sharpton there. >> i was struck by the expressions of humility in the speech, the appeal to the center of the electorate, the center of entrepreneurship. the government isn't always the answer. i don't think the democrats could have possibly done a better job this week in building a case for the president's re-election. i think the convention was a home run. now, we have to wait for the verdict. did it move the numbers? did it change the dynamic? did it close the economic numbers where he was lagging behind? did it give a booster shot of optimism to a pessimistic side.
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what has been weaknesses, he went right after the republican ticket. it was an effective speech as almost all of his speeches are. we'll see how the country reacts to it? is he able to open up a lead? >> i thought it was interesting, the division of labor between what bill clinton did and the president. i don't know if they coordinated this, but bill clinton was defensive of the record, backward looking, almost entirely. this speech, it's interesting to look at the terms they want the election fought. the future rather than the present. if it's referendum of the present, people feeling out of sorts and anxious, if it's a choice about weakness. there were mentions about health care. it was about focusing the electorate forward. >> values. >> values.
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it was also interestingly very workman like. it was not soaring except a few parts. the ending. they are cognisant of how broken and dysfunctional politics feel four years after his election. not bringing to the floor the position between the boundlessness of the excitement and hope. >> i think one of the things that's happened, not just from the right, it's been from our ironic and cynical culture has been since barack obama was elected president, it has become something you are supposed to be embarrassed about, that you might be moved by politics. hope and change are the punch line. the idea that you would think you would be able to expect anything or feel anything about
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politic ss a weakness. i was moved by the speech. i find it moving. i'm happy to be moved. it's an eraser. you did that. you did that, you did that. if you turn away, the change we fall for isn't possible, well, change will not happen. if you give up on the idea your voice will make a difference, other voices will fill the void. if you think you can't do it, many others will, lobbyists. people with $10 million checks. those making it harder for you to vote. bringing policy and specific enemies in a way that is about believing in politics. >> also, the notion that other specific enemies are the enemy. he stopped and said, okay, these are not the thing that is are the enemy.
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people on welfare are not the enemy. people who are gay and lesbian are not the enemy. he specifically said let me be clear about what the other side is telling you is not the problem. i recognize we have problems. it's not your fellow citizens. >> to go back to the biden speech, if we can, we didn't have a chance to talk about that. he talked about the paycheck, dignity and humility. we feel your pain, we are not there yet. we are going get there. we are working toward a better america. we are not going to leave behind the people that struggled in this economy. they have a lot to brag about. the months of job creation, the automobile creation. it was a tremendous tribute to the military. shared sacrifice. he hit that tonight in his
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speech. between former president clinton, between joe biden and the president's speeches, they were different elements packaged together all on the testimonial. >> lawrence o donl is in charlotte. i have to get your reaction and your observations of what it was like seeing the president speech. >> reporter: in this crowd, it was a love fest. this was his third convention speech. most people in this crowd fell in love during the first convention speech. remember, the challenge for barack obama was not so much to top bill clinton or previous speakers. one of the challenges is how does he top barack obama? in the previous two convention speech that is led up to this and built up the highest expectation any presidential nominee had for a speech. an incumbent speech includes challenge that is are not there for the first time nominee. it includes a record and a
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record that will always have been to some extent limited by the opposition in congress. the president began with a little bit of a defense that wasn't presented defensively. he said it will take more than a few years to solve challenge that is built up over decades. that is the essential case he has to win in terms of his record. he doesn't have to fight the details. the speeches here are very important. yes, every single word of every speech delivered in this convention hall is coordinated with the nominee's speech. there are people working to make sure that division of labor is spread out in the right places. joe biden dealt with issues the president didn't have to deal with in his speech. rach el, he did have to take on hope and change. he did have to defend what has
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become of hope and change. he said hope is you speaking to the voters. he said you did that when he started to list the accomplishments of the administration. there are children in america today who can get their third surgeries by the time they are 6 years old because they have not worn out the lifetime limit on their health care policies. he said you did that. he means the people who voted for the obama presidency are the people who actually delivered that change to this country and what is hope? if not a vote. what is a vote if it isn't an expression of hope. of course, what he's asking for is hope in this administration and this team going forward. he is saying that the next time you cast your vote, of course, it will be an expression of hope. he made the case tonight as to why a voter can reasonably hope for the change you would want to
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see in the next four years by voting for this presidency to continue. >> the addressing of the issue of hope, transferring it away from himself as a political celebrity and putting it on people to believe in the possibility of change. that is what i find moving as a person who does believe in the project of collective government. >> and citizenship. one of the things that came out, you were talking about joe biden's speech. there was an undercurrent in the republican convention of decline. it felt they were painting a taupic vision of this tyranny. i felt it got ahead of them. people are anxious, but most swing voters don't feel we are living in a socialistic swags. they turned that around. when joe biden said we are not in decline, it was the story
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republicans were telling and the danger of that story. people are bummed about where the country is in many ways, but do not want to be told the country is in decline. they did a clever job tonight of playing on that. it made me think of the dangers of the republicans and the dangers of the democrats being too positive. >> any challenger to the incumbent has that problem. the obama and biden side is they didn't talk that much about the job crisis in this speech. they couldn't because things are getting better. >> one thing i was fascinated about in the speech, they had to reconcile the speech he gave. the young barack obama that he referenced, the 2008 convention.
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he had to tie all three together. he had to reconcile expectation ws a sense of disappointment with the fact the country remains in tough shape. i think he did it as the structure of the speech. it was artfully done. >> right. we talked about humility. >> he said i am no longer a candidate. i am the president. right? so not only is that a great line and one that is factually true. >> fact check. true. >> it is true. he talked about, just before he made the turn to it's not about me, it's about you, he talks about the hard and frustrating but necessary work of government. interestingly enough, what you said earlier in the night, chris, the idea that self-government is a kind of extraordinary and relatively recent project in human history.
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when he says it's hard and frustrating, he acknowledges the humility himself as a political figure, but all of us. we have a commitment to the process. >> howard fineman was able to hear the speech live, both observe and have his own reactions. howard? >> reporter: there's a great sense of family here in the hall. forbarack obama, truly efection for him. that's number one. number two, i agree with what's been said about trying to make it a choice, not a referendum on unemployment. it's what is always done in this situation. the thing that struck me is the comment on abraham lincoln. for abraham lincoln to become him, he had to face terrible
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trials and struggles to make the changes he wanted to make. joe biden began the redefinition in his speech. the words were, there's a journey to hope and the cause of change. we are not there yet. barack obama was saying tonight, if i can take inspiration of lincoln, i take it as much from him as his symbolism of hope. i thought it was the most brilliantly defensive speech i have seen. they took it to the republican ins a way and they also made it sound, i think it was chris who alluded to this, almost as though it was patriotic to talk down america the way the republicans were doing and it's our responsibilities, rather than barack obama himself was the change. it was easy. when we elected him four years ago, it was going to be easy.
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now, he's saying no, no, it was never that easy. it was never going to be flipping a switch. that's a very strong argument. i'm not sure everybody will buy it. to thoughtful viewers who are undecided, he made a strong case. >> reverend sharpton, he says while i'm proud of what we achieved together, i know of my failings knowing what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees by the conviction i had no place else to go. >> i think that was a striking statement. what he did there was he admitted the burdens of leadership. he admitted the weight that was on him but he also connected with people of faith and said
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yes, i get on my knees, i have had to pray about this. i have had to bear the weight of this. he made a connection with people of faith and those who think he's so cool that he doesn't feel the weight. i don't think he connected the young barack obama to the more mature barack obama. i think he is the young barack obama that became the more mature obama. i think sometimes we are so used to politicians just flip-flopping and artfully recr we get someone that is who he is, then we try to look into things that are not there. the most effective thing he did was he reminded the people of change and the people promoting and he was professing. he reminded them what that was. it was about health care. it was about jobs. we allowed the people who didn't
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believe in change to tell us we didn't get the change they didn't believe in and they didn't vote for. how are they interpreting the change they never believed in? >> i thought tonight the president also made a real connection with the country. he's been accused of not being american. he's been accused of the tea partiers and extremists out there. the president tonight, it was from the heart. ift was a level of sincerity. he illustrated it so well tonight. of course, michelle obama, earlier this week saying he's the same guy. he's the same guy you elected four years ago. he's been through a lot. he hasn't changed. the other thing, the most retweeted line of the night was made in america. something the republicans did not have in any of their speeches. this president is amazing. he consumed the room.
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he doesn't miss anything. i think he made a real point talking manufacturing and american jobs and made in america. that got retweeted more. 50,000 tweets. that's a new record. >> half way through the speech, we got the response from the romney/ryan campaign. you can tell it was written before the speech. tonight pob laid out the choice in this election making the case for more of the same policies that haven't worked for the past four year. the point of president obama's speech, it's a choice, it's a choice. president obama prepared remarks said the word choose and choice
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11 times. 22 mentions of that. that makes it the point of the speech. that means the republicans probably should not have echoed it in their response. >> you gotta love them. the notion of citizenship, i thought this was a brilliant moment. this has been a nasty, ugly birtherism that has shown up in the mainstream republican as well as the far right. when he said we have this thing called citizenship and he redefines it as mutual obligation, obligation that exists in public policies as well as community organizations as well as how our businesses conduct profit sharing between the top and the bottom. it was really lovely. of course i'm an american. citizenship is not about a birth
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certifica certificate. it's an actual set of duties. it was a lovely counter punch. >> we talk about the hardest jab that the president took against the other side. there was a joke right off the top. it was they want your vote but don't want you to know their plan. all they have to offer is their plan for 30 years. feel a cold coming on, take a tax cut and call us in the morning. also the russia stuff. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. they want to take us back to blustering and blundering that cost america. you don't call russia our number one enemy and not al qaeda unless you are stuck in a cold war mind warp. >> or rocky iv. >> also tonight, the cheers at i am the president was an amazing moment for a number of reasons.
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obviously, there's a sub text there about everything that is barack obama and the history of the long park of struggle and race in america. everything he symbolizes and everything he is. it's a mundane reminder of the advantages of the incumbency. i remember george w. bush talking to the families of the fallen. he was tearing up. it was emotionally powerful. that is what the person who has been there, whatever decisions, obviously, were horrible, but there's a certain gravity and authority that comes from being able to speak to the american people from that position. >> chris matthews, do you want to get in on that? >> yeah, i think a big part of obama is the president's challenge over the last three to
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four years is oftentimes he's come off as a brilliant solo act. he's doing the job as president. we all watched him. it hasn't been a joint effort by the american people to accomplish something we had in the '60s with kennedy. it's all in this actively together. tonight, i think he worked to fix that, giving credit to the american people doing things this administration has done getting behind it politically. to reassert that saying i ask you tonight for your vote. again, to ask. asking is the most powerful thing in politics. they figured that out 500 years ago. you have to have a sense of giving in order to establish loyalty to someone. it's not about getting things from a president, it's about
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having a president lead you, give yourself, invest it. if you have served in the military, you have a sense to country. every parent is invested in what they have done for their children. the key loyalty ingredient is giving, not taking. he had to thank the american people, credit them for what they have done so they would be invested in his re-election. to put the cap on that saying i need your vote, i'm asking for it. classic tip o' neil politics. he admitted he needs the people before, he needs them now, it's their government. i thought it was phenomenal the way he addressed what i thought was his biggest problem. >> such a powerful point. we can turn around that speech. >> ours is a future filled with
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hope. if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. if you reject the notion that this nation's promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. if you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand-up in this election. if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. >> president obama in his acceptance speech. i want to go to chuck todd in charlotte. chuck? >> reporter: rachel, one thing you have is how the president
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chose to respond to mitt romney's speech. this whole evening felt like a giant response to what mitt romney didn't do in his speech. they spent a lot of time on foreign policy, a lot of time on afghanistan, a lot of time talking on military families. what's been fascinating to me when you follow presidential re-elections and the challengers you get time to respond. there's always a miss somewhere if you are the challenger. that was a big miss for romney. off lot of conservatives that criticized him. it really provided the president an opportunity to play a commander in chief card. who knows how heavily he would have played that tonight. yes, we were going to hear a lot about bin lauden but would it be as much as biden or john kerry did if mitt romney doesn't leave
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that opening. that's helpful to the president. i have heard what the table is saying. i am in the workman-like camp. they had a lot to accomplish. it seemed like at times they were methodically playing the notes rather than lyrically playing the notes. in the end, you could feel the crescendo. it was about talking and getting the enthusiasm back. that's where you saw that even he got into his speech. there were times you felt like, you know, he didn't like the fact he had to deliver some of the tough love he was delivering. he sort of enjoyed it, you can tell, closer to the end. >> thank you. i want to go to my friend ed schultz here. >> i think these conventions are a reflection of who the candidates are. it was a great reflection on
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president obama and not on the republican candidate. this one hit it out of the park as opposed to who mitt romney is. chris was saying people like to be asked to do things. they feel like they are connected. the hardest thing for a poll decision to do is to tell the american people this is what i have to get out of it. tonight, the treasury has to be addressed if we are going to fix this country's finances. i want to reform the tax code so it's simple and fair. that feels good. everybody is on board with that, especially republicans. wealthier households to pay taxes on $250,000. we can't get there unless there's a shared sacrifice. that was the tough talk i was looking for but it didn't seem like tough talk. he set it up in a good manner. we are going back to clinton, if i'm re-elections and we created
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23 million jobs. he surrounded it with the positive but gave the tough talk saying we have to get there and get more money from the wealthiest americans to turn this around. then talked about what to do with making tough cuts. >> we have to take a break here in a second. as we go break, we are talking about the front page of foreign policy, military and the wars. chuck raising the prospect that the democrats may not have done that so heavily had the republicans not flubed so badly by never mentioning the war in either of their acceptance speeches. let's hear that then we'll be back. >> after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you are still stuck in a cold war mind warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you
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can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent said it was tragic to end the war in iraq. he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. i have. i will. [ male announcer ] did you know, all those screens are sucking moisture from your eyes, causing irritation and dryness. really? [ male announcer ] revive your eyes with visine®. only visine® has hydroblend to soothe, restore and protect eyes for up to 10 hours of comfort. aaaahhh... [ male announcer ] visine® with hydroblend.
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hello, i'm lynn berry. president obama delivered his speech at the democratic national convention. he acknowledged it would take more time to solve american challenges. fresh off his speech at the dnc wednesday, president bill clinton is headed for the campaign trail. he's due in the ohio and florida area next week. mitt romney went to new hampshire thursday and defended his decision not to talk about the afghan war in his speech. he discussed it the night before his big speech. drew peterson was convicted of murdering his third wife. on the economic front, the closely watched august employment report is due out today. they expect it to hold steady at
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8.3% with 125,000 nonfarm jobs created. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount. chipmunk family reunion. someone stole the nuts. squirrel jail. justice! countless discounts. now that's progressive. call or click today.
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in a world of new threats
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and new challenges you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago, i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promise to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have. we blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york city skyline. al qaeda is on the bath to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> president barack obama accepting the democratic nomination. the reference to the longest war will be over in 2014. right now, it's 2012.
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the longest war will not be over this year or the next year, but the year after that. they are still talking about there being residual forces there. that, however, is more than the republican opponents were able to say about afghanistan, even obliquely in their own convention. it was seized on by the democrats and tonight by the president, the vice president and all night long at the democrats final night of the convention. we go to andrea mitchell in charlotte on the floor. andrea, on the issue of afghanistan, how you feel the democrats handled it and what you feel of their decision to front page it. >> reporter: i think that decision would have been made because of that commitment. after tampa, it was absolutely a certainty. the fact the republican speeches, particularly mitt romney's made no mention of
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afghanistan. they were going to focus it on a big way here. not only the president who spoke about it, but joe biden talking 6,473 fallen angels. more than 49,000 wounded soldiers. those who have to come home and need the help of the veteran's assistance and their medical care that they will need care for the rest of their lives. they talked about the government not as an obstacle, but the government as a necessary component. when they talk about a contrast, it's clearly a contrast they laid out. mitt romney, in that three or four line response today said it is a choice. the choices are very clear. this was a value speech. it was red meat, certainly, for the base. the values expressed by joe biden and barack obama tonight could not be clearer. especially as you were pointing out, all the references, more
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than 20 in the president's speech to the word choice. when he spoke of choice for women, that was one of the loudest cheers. >> you have followed both campaigns closely. you have gotten to know about how the candidates think about these issues and who advises them on it. we see the romney/ryan folks scrambling because they didn't mention the war. romney is off the campaign trail but did an event, an off camera event around military issues. they are planning to do something. honestly, i say this without hint of criticism in it, i have no idea what mitt romney will say he's going to do in afghanistan when somebody finally tells him he has to say something about afghanistan. do we know what his views are on the war? he has taken just about every position you could take on how to get out.
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>> reporter: it's been in recent months in the debates and the primary. i'm confused about it. they have to be clearer about the war. i guess during the convention, the best information i have is they felt the economy was the note they had to hit. they have an advantage in all the polls in terms of mitt romney. people think romney is better to fix the problems of the economy. certainly, it's something president obama is vol vulnerable on. the markets are excited. it's not always a good measure. the fact is the president does know he was briefed about 5:30 today after the close of the markets as we have been reporting as has always been the custom. they know what the numbers are. this is the next to last big
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jobs report before the closing report, which will indicate what is going to happen on election day, most likely. clearly, the romney campaign has got to come to grips with this foreign policy issue of the war. the president took it head on. >> yeah. absolutely. andrea, thank you for that. steve, let me put this to you. that has been the explanation, the political explanation with what happened last week. it is -- i think it is incredibly frustrating to hear, we think we only need to market romney on the economy because that's his strength and what we want to run on. we didn't feel we needed to address these things. there's no commander and chief of the u.s. economy. the president can order just about nothing to happen on that. he can order the u.s. military to do what is in his best judgment. that's what he can directly
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control. do we know if he's got advisers on issues like afghanistan and foreign policy who are bringing in any post bush/cheney ideas? is he thinking differently than the last republican administration? >> he's not talking about it. we disagree on many things. we agree 100% on this. the omission of afghanistan in his speech was a huge mistake by the campaign. the obama campaign took full political advantage of it tonight. there's a point beyond politics. that is there is no higher responsibility for a president, for a commander in chief than to the men, women he commands. we have 85,000 men and women in harm's way at this exact moment in afghanistan. the country deserves to hear these candidates talk about our
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longer war and how we are going to leave afghanistan with honor and with this country's head held high. >> in your answer to your question, we got little reference tonight about who is advising mitt romney. john kerry said he had bush neocons around him. i'm sure john bolton is around there. they mentioned afghanistan, they turned it over to clint eastwood answering an empty chair and turning it over to russia. >> when he mocked the multiple positio positions, he was highlighting they are in a political box. the one space they have politically is to get to the president's left on afghanistan and say why are we going to stay in the longest war in the country until 2014 if everyone and the reporting says essent l essentially it's for
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nonconclusion. the government we have been supporting is going to fall. if you say you are going to leave at a certain point, why not leave now? institutionally, it's impossible for romney to make that case because of who has it. he's caught. >> they have always come up with a line. >> he's following -- >> nowhere. >> jon huntsman sketched out clear, hard nosed republican sounding traditional line on this that didn't make him an isolationist he was a realist and he was laughed off the stage. a dream of america that is back on its feet and moving forward. his message was almost a throwback to a certain kind of normal. >> i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country. goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and
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the deficit. real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. it's what we can do in four years and why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> real, achievable plans. a real politic. ezra? >> i was really struck by the actual policy agenda in this speech. if you got past the rhetoric, it was a modest policy agenda. that's what was different from 2008. he talked about doubling exports, creating 1 million manufacturing jobs. goals like 2 million workers trained in community colleges for the future and bringing the rate down by half. this wasn't like his 2008 campaign but his presidency dealing with the collapse of the financial sector and collapse of
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the euro zone. the restructuring of the health care system, rising of the oceans and on and on and on. in a sense, this was a promise of what the second term will be. more normal. obama, in this race is the incrementalist with romney. what you get with his second presidency is basically politics as it was. it began with 9/11 and the bush years that turned into obama's presidency can iraq and afghanistan and osama bin laden. this was a -- those problems were not present in the vision obama sketched out of what his second term would look like. >> the long emergency is a way to think about that. one of the things everybody is looking for is this president some day to declare an end to
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the war on terror. think about the executive power and the state in extreme policy that is were proposed during the bush administration and continued. they were justified legally in technical terms by being in a state of war. that raises the question of when an emergency ends. when we can start talking about a need for normal policymaking and when war is to be over for the purpose of saying those extreme powers we claim for wartime should be wrapped up. >> use of military force. it's a legal document that binds and is cited as the authority. >> something else ezra mentioned that i want to say is the single most surprising thing in a speech. climate change is not a hoax. more droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. they are a threat to our children's future. in this election you can do
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something about it. i can bet you, what is it $10,000 that that would not have been in the speech. >> hello, i'm a gulf coast resident. i live in post hurricane katrina and now post hurricane isaac. it's not funny to talk about the oceans. we heard it in biden's speech when he said there's responsibility. part of how they framed it, is reframing of values. it's part of what we heard from andrea there. i know this was a bit of a workhorse speech. i certainly know ezra pointed out, it was a modest workhorse, maybe a donkey, for example. it was an interesting thing in the end. you know, i'm not a preacher in the way that reverend sharpton is, but i'm a seminarn and that was romans 8. if you know that, that is the
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civil right's movement chapter. it's a chapter about hope. hoping in things you cannot see. if you look just for the evidence of those things and it's not really hope, it's the belief that when everything is against you, there's something to go forward to. he did this really amazingly secular version of -- that had all the inspiration of black church but also very specifically romans 8. i have to tell you, that says to me, this is not just going to be a workhorse campaign. this is going to be a campaign where he's going to recapture some of that soaring rhetoric. >> i think we heard that in the talk deliberately about citizenship and his addressing about what his candidacy meant to people, trying to reclaim that. i want to go to reverend sharpton and chris on that one. >> i think quoting the scripture, it's evidence of things unseen.
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when you look at where we were and he outlined where we are and where we need to go, he really laid out a vision. it is interesting, since the scripture is brought up, there's a quote in the scripture, without a vision people parrish. i think people will leave charlotte with a vision of what mr. obama as president has in mind. i still have no idea what the vision that romney and ryan is offering america. i know what they are against. i know what they are bitter about. i know they are citizens. i know their doult. but what is the vision? people can't hold on to something if you don't give them something to hold on to. he gave us that tonight. >> chris matthews, last word. >> i go back to what i said at the end of the speech. i think the most important political development is the president of the united states made clear to his opponents and those watching the campaign, you
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are better off being president of the united states than running against him. incumbency became his strength tonight. he found a way to show all the advantages of an incumbency were his. the other is somebody on the outside tapping on the window. i need to thank everyone. we will all be back together for the first presidential debate october 3, 9:00 eastern at the university of denver. chris matthews will pick up in charlotte. thank you for spending your evening with us. [ male announcer ] if you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ]
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